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Ḥayyim (ben) Shabbetai


ḤAYYIM (Ben ) SHABBETAI (known as MaharhashMorenu Ha-Rav Ḥayyim Shabbetai ; before 1555–1647), rabbi in Salonika. He studied under Aaron Sason, and subsequently became head of the yeshivah of the "Shalom" community. Many of his pupils became leading authorities such as Solomon ha-Levi, Isaac Barki, Ḥasdai ha-Kohen *Peraḥyah, and David *Conforte. It is not clear whether Jacob Ruvio or Ḥayyim Shabbetai was appointed to the post of chief rabbi by the leaders of the Salonikan communities in 1638, but certainly after Ruvio's death in 1640, Ḥayyim Shabbetai served as chief rabbi. In point of fact, he had been referred to as "the great rabbi" as early as 1622. He devoted himself assiduously to congregational matters, introducing many important regulations, and was regarded as the outstanding halakhic authority of his time, questions being addressed to him from communities near and far. Only part of his works have been published. These include novellae on the tractate Ta'anit and on the last chapter of tractate Yoma, published in the Torat Moshe of his son Moses (Salonika, 1797); responsa on Even ha-Ezer (Salonika, 1651); and Torat Ḥayyim (3 parts, Salonika, 1713, 1715, 1722), responsa. The second part of this last work is preceded by a Kunteres ha-Moda'ah re-ha-Ones, on contracts entered into under duress, which was published separately (Lemberg, 1798) with a commentary by Jeremiah of Mattersdorf and his son Joab. Ḥayyim also wrote Torat ha-Zevaaḥ, on the laws of slaughtering and inspection and Seder Gittin (unpublished). Many additional responsa are to be found in the works of his contemporaries and disciples. He was also rabbi of Kahal Shalom Synagogue in Salonika in which position he was succeeded by his son Moses.


Conforte, Kore, index; Michael, Or, 412; Toiber, in: ks, 8 (1932), 275f.; Rosanes, Togarmah, 3 (1938), 175–8; I.S. Emmanuel, Gedolei Saloniki le-Dorotam, 1 (1936), 294–6, no. 448; idem, Maẓẓevot Saloniki, 1 (1963), 298–301, no. 685; Benayahu, in: Sinai, 34 (1954), 164f.

[Abraham David]

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